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adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI

1 edit

Black stuff (mold?) on basement wall.

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Click for full size
In-laws in Mid-Michigan have a one story house with an unfinished basement with a walkout. The black stuff is only in the southwest corner which receives the most rain. It is also the only corner that is completely above grade with the walkout. In the winter there is ice on the wall in that area. FIL plans on cleaning the wall and sealing it but should something else be done? There's obviously water seeping in but it's not underground so I don't know what to do. They do not have a dehumidifier which I believe isn't helping the situation but haven't checked the humidity level.

EDIT: The outside picture has shadows from trees, the walls are normal color.
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This is where the fish lives.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
It's clear that water is seeping in from somewhere, especially given the formation of ice. Is there moisture after a hard rain inside?


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12
reply to adam9280
What is the inside wall made out of? Drywall? Concrete? If drywall, sealing won't do anything.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
Concrete vertical slabs.


Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a
reply to adam9280
I'd rip that wall open and reinsulate it. It may be missing the insulation. You're getting ice on the wall so there's obviously an air leak somewhere.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
It's a poured concrete wall.


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
reply to adam9280
Mold requires moisture and food. Common household dust accumilation on the concrete can be enough food, so dealing with the water penetration is the best bet. Painting it from the inside may help, but only for a short time. Water will simply push in from under the paint/sealer, causing it to peal away.

You have to stop the problem on the outside. Maybe take a close look at the siding to brick joint, or at the brick expansion joints on either side of the corner. My guess is that exterior is just brick facade over concrete, so water getting through the brick layer is running down until it finds a way through the concrete. Much like a roof leak, the exterior water entry point may not be right at the interior penetration point.

I would also find out what that blob is on the shutter above.


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:11
Reviews:
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reply to adam9280
What's that L shaped corner in the inside? Is that pre-fabricated concrete corner or steel? In any case, the bond between the mid L corner and concrete is not good enough and you have a leak.

Agreed with previous assessment, this can only be fixed from outside. Nothing you'll do from inside will help long term.


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
Uh, this just looks like a regular old poured concrete foundation wall... no brick fascia or stud space.

There are a number of masonry sealants that can be used on the outside of that wall to prevent water infiltration from driven rain. I'd start there.

First, I'd mix up a solution of bleach and water in a garden sprayer and kill that mold on the inside.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
reply to Camelot One
Ok. There is some tar on the outside that is below ground. Maybe putting that on and painting it would work.

The blob is a plastic grocery bag that got stuck and is now a home for some hornets or bees. It's on his list of things to do...
--
This is where the fish lives.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
reply to Brano
Not sure what the corner is. I assume it's just a smooth concrete edge. I should have looked at it closer from the outside.
--
This is where the fish lives.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
reply to adam9280
My guess it is a a combination of water being absorbed by the concrete wall and condensation on a cold uninsulated concrete wall.

For starters see if you can regrade to direct water away from the wall.

/tom


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to adam9280
That looks like mold...


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to PSWired


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to adam9280
Looks like common mildew to me. Try using a solution of chlorine bleach and water, mixed 1:4. Be prepared for the smell... the bleach can be quite irritating for awhile. May require more than one treatment. Spray bottle or pump sprayer.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


Thane_Bitter
Inquire within
Premium
join:2005-01-20
Reviews:
·Bell Sympatico
reply to adam9280
Fix the landscaping on the outside, water is running along that outside wall and pooling around the patio area. It almost looks like mud has splashed along that wall as well (could be the lighting) which could mean the roof gutters are plugged or inadequate. If splash-back is an issue consider putting down a weed barrier covered with decorative gravel. The point is you want the ground to fall away from the home, you may have to dig out a swale (open ditch) to intercept water along that slope to direct the flow of surface water away from that sensitive area.


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
reply to adam9280
said by adam9280:

is now a home for some hornets or bees. It's on his list of things to do...

Liquid soap (dish soap)and water in a garden sprayer and that ends you bee problem. It is all but instant death for them. The small lag between application and death won't matter as they will be grounded. The soap forms a film over them causing them to suffocate. Mix it say half and half water and soap. I would use dawn as it is the most eco friendly and likely will not harm plants grass etc.

As for the possible mold. If it is mold it is black meaning it is black mold. Get the proper stuff to kill the stuff. And be warned the fumes the cleaner puts off can be quite nasty and you do want to follow directions for breathing protection to the letter.


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
reply to Pacrat
Errr bad advice. Bleach + mold puts off chlorine gas. Not only is the fumes nasty smelling and burns the eyes it can cause real damage. Yeh it will with out a doubt kill the mold/mildew but could jack you up for life.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
reply to novaflare
Didn't know soap and water works that that. Nice alternative to the crazy chemicals in the can. Thanks
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This is where the fish lives.


adam9280

join:2005-01-02
Rochester, MI
reply to Thane_Bitter
Thanks for the good info. He did put in some foam leaf guards that I witnessed overflowing during a hard downpour. There's no downspout on the corner in question so that and the gutters overflowing must not be helping the 2 story splash-back.
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This is where the fish lives.


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
reply to adam9280
np
I stopped using the ineffective bug sprays along time ago. Use ten cans and have them buzzing you or hit with a cup of half and half soap and water and be done hmmm 2 dolor bottle dawn 6 dolor can of bug spray hmm heheh

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
What works even better is a 1:1 chlordane solution run through a pressure washer.


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
i think that might be a bit extreme for insects

Dawn and water is more than effective enough. It kills quick and puts them down on the ground instantly Other than making you sick from the soap taste and maybe giving you the runs dawn is non toxic.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
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Reviews:
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reply to Oedipus
said by Oedipus:

What works even better is a 1:1 chlordane solution run through a pressure washer.

That will certainly stop termites from attacking the concrete wall.
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fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to novaflare
said by novaflare:

Other than making you sick from the soap taste and maybe giving you the runs

Is this from experience?


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
Lol not directly my great nephew loved the taste of dawn lol. His poor mom suffered for oh a good solid day Hana the doctor told her he would be fine as it is for all intents and purposes non toxic. Needless to say I did not stick around that day haha


BlueMist

join:2011-01-24
Cookeville, TN
reply to adam9280
As I see it...

1) Water staining on the outside wall indicating possible water splashing either from a lack of gutters or gutters/downspouts that are too small. Cleaning the outside of the wall and sealing the concrete with a one of those clear waterproofing sealers can help.

2) Mold or mildew buildup due to high moisture on inside of concrete wall. This can be caused by item #1 but in this case it looks like a combination of #1 and a total lack of insulation on an outside wall.

Once Item #1 has been taken care of and all mold was eliminated I would insulate the concrete walls and be sure to include a vapor barrier on the side closest to the room interior.

The best and most likely most expensive is to add either metal stud walls or pressure treated wood stud walls about 1 inch away from the concrete. Then have closed cell spray foam installed on the wall and then cover the wall with the type of sheet rock that has the non-mold surface that is not just the routine plain paper. The closed cell foam takes the place of a vapor barrier as well as providing the needed insulation.

The next cheaper method would be to glue foam insulation sheets on the wall. Then cover the foam with a plastic vapor barrier. Since the foam sheets and most plastic used as a vapor barrier are usually quite flammable most locations require they be covered by something non-flammable unless you want to void your home owners insurance. I would again use the anti-fungus sheet rock on pressure treated (or metal) studs.

No matter what you do, this will keep on happening unless the wall is insulated along with a vapor barrier and if excess moisture continues to seep in through the wall from the outside due to what appears to be excessive water splashing on an unsealed concrete wall.


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
reply to adam9280
said by Camelot One:

Maybe take a close look at the siding to brick joint, or at the brick expansion joints on either side of the corner. My guess is that exterior is just brick facade over concrete, so water getting through the brick layer is running down until it finds a way through the concrete.

This.
--
Apple Creek Vineyard and Winery


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to adam9280
OP is in Michigan.

Mold is likely from condensation as already mentioned. That exposed corner is going to be the coldest spot.

What do you keep you humidity at in the winter?
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